It’s the most romantic or the most depressing time of year, depending on how you view Valentine’s Day. Hearing romantic music can intensify both of these feelings.
Did you know that music can be beneficial in educational and therapeutic settings?
One of my favorite group activities with my clients was music therapy. I asked the clients to identify one song that reminded them of difficult times and one song that inspired them. Music bridged the gap between the different generations of clients in this room. Listening to each member’s songs brought up different topics that no structured activity could have triggered. As a clinician it introduced me to a softer and more personal side of my clients that I had not seen.
Music therapy is used in educational settings and can be beneficial for children with emotional or developmental difficulties. Drum circles, the use of instruments, movement to music and vocal expression are a few examples of activities based around music.
The use of music therapy has also been studied and viewed as beneficial for adults suffering with anxiety or depression. When I work with clients I inquire about their relationship with music. Are there songs that can help them relax during their most anxious times of day? Is there a genre of music that soothes them? Different types of music can be shown to affect blood pressure and emotional regulation.
Even if you are not suffering from a mental health disorder or emotional issue, how can music inspire you? Let me explain 3 ways.
- There was a buzz surrounding Missy Elliott’s appearance at the Super Bowl. Her Spotify channel received a 676% boost after her halftime performance. Numbers don’t lie. According to research from Yuna Ferguson, people can successfully improve their moods and boost overall happiness in just two weeks by listening to music. My questions to you are: What songs or artists could boost your mood? When was the last time you listened to this? Would you be willing to take a 2 week challenge?
- If you’re in a relationship, what songs create happy memories for you and your partner? If you are married, when was the last time you heard your wedding song? I’m old enough to remember mixtapes (don’t judge) and they used to be one of my favorite gifts. Mixtapes were original “playlists”, but were much more personal. Maybe a Valentine’s Day gift idea would be to create a playlist of “mood boosting” songs for you and your partner?
- Are you procrastinating on any goals or tasks? If you said no, dust off your unicorn horn and proceed to the bottom of the page (lol)! Would your tasks be more enjoyable if you had motivating music to encourage you? It’s a joke in my culture that when your mom turned on Spanish music on a Saturday morning you would be woken up to help clean. I can laugh about it now but I admittedly clean the house listening to salsa music! Thanks Mom! Speaking of Missy Elliot and cleaning, I’m sure I would get this floor mopped MUCH faster if I listened to “Lose Control!”
In short, music has many emotional benefits (personal motivation, romantic inspiration, emotional regulation) that we may be missing out on.
Check out Part 2 of this series tomorrow where I will share a playlist guaranteed to get your heart racing!!
Share your favorite motivational song in the comments below!
Here are a few of my favorites:
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